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Yahoo Sees Big Search Bump From Firefox “Default” Relationship

Last month Yahoo announced that it was replacing Google as the default search engine in the next/latest version of Firefox: Firefox 34. That position is now paying dividends for Yahoo according to new data from StatCounter released earlier today. The analytics firm said that “Yahoo search was…



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Can You Safely Redirect Users From a Penguin-Hit Site to a New Domain?

If you’ve decided to start over after a Penguin hit, there are two things to consider: Can I use the same content on my new site as my old site, and can I redirect customers from my old site to my new one?

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What World of Warcraft Borrowed From FarmVille

The latest World of Warcraft expansion is a huge success, likely because it has a lot in common with the games you play on your smartphone. 

Since Blizzard Entertainment released it in 2004, World of Warcraft has been one of the most successful franchises in media, let alone video games. Even in June, when Blizzard estimated WoW had its lowest number of subscribers since 2007—6.8 million—the game still dominated the MMO playing field. In November, that number shot up to 10 million just days after Blizzard released WoW’s newest expansion, Warlord of Draenor. 

It’s no coincidence that a prominent feature of Warlords of Draenor strongly resembles some of the most successful—and addictive—casual games, like FarmVille and Clash of Clans. As mobile games increase in popularity, similar features in the WoW expansion provide insight on how the MMO has managed to stay relevant by adapting to the video game world’s changing surroundings.

See also: Twitch’s Video Game Broadcasters Have A New Way To Make Money: Sell Shirts

Indeed, the most impressive achievement of World of Warcraft is its longevity; 10 years is an eternity for any video game franchise. Blizzard Entertainment biggest challenge is keeping its players interested in a game many have been playing for a decade, while attracting new players to replace those who leave. Blizzard succeeds in staying relevant by adapting to the changing expectations of its subscribers, while remaining true to the WoW universe it’s created.

Engaging Players With Tasks And Rewards

Similar to Clash of Clans, Warlord of Draenor players gain control of their own strongholds, called garrisons. Within the garrisons are a number of plots of land which can be developed into different buildings, each of which grants the player a different bonus. Most of the buildings have a feature where the player spends some manner of currency, then when they come back to the building in two hours or so, there’s some building-specific loot waiting for them. 

This gameplay will sound familiar to anyone who has obsessively harvested virtual crops in a cartoon field.

See also: Want To Learn About Game Design? Go To Ikea

Separate from spending virtual currency, each garrison has a command table, where the player sends out followers—which they can recruit and collect—to perform missions that have various rewards. The missions are extremely simple to do and most take between 30 minutes and two hours to complete, with some taking as much as 24 hours. 

As game designers know, such tasks are key to creating an addictive game. 

“The appointment dynamic is a famous game mechanic in which to succeed a ‘player’ must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action,” Seth Priebatsch,  creator of mobile payment software company LevelUp, wrote in a 2010 article for the Harvard Business Review. “It’s simple and immensely powerful.”

This mechanic is not new to WoW; Blizzard experimented with it by adding a personalized farm in Mists of Pandaria, the previous expansion, in which players could plant crops and return the next day to harvest them. Unlike the farm, however, the garrison is an essential part of both the plot and gameplay of Warlords of Draenor. 

“Every time you feel some kind of a progression, that drives you to do more,” Yulia Vakhrusheva, organizer of the Casual Games Association’s Indie Prize Showcase, told ReadWrite. A regular WoW player since 2008, Vakhrusheva said the new garrison system is definitely very similar to mobile games, and that the constant feedback and rewards is what players find so engaging. 

“Just like in farming, building and strategy social games, you can give the game a “task” and leave it for hours,” she said. “The player wants to return to the game the next day to get a reward, and this is what mainly attracts gamers—getting rewards they can use, be proud of, or ‘reinvest’ back into the game.”

A fully upgraded Horde garrison in Warlords of Draenor.

Adapt Or Die

Blizzard has a history of adapting  features to WoW that are common in other successful games. In Mists of Pandaria, the game introduced a pet battling system remarkably similar to Nintendo’s wildly successful Pokemon franchise; companion pets that had previously served purely cosmetic purposes could now be caught, battled, and trained. As microtransactions appeared in more games, Blizzard also introduced an in-game store to World of Warcraft in 2013, where players can purchase special pets or mounts. 

Beyond having a popular game mechanic behind it, the rewards granted by the new garrisons in Warlord of Draenor might encourage players to stick around longer than previous expansions.

See also: Call Of Duty Doesn’t Understand Grief—But Who Does?

“You don’t need to put lots of hours to the game to get great gear that will make you raid-ready, you can just get it from the garrison missions,” Vakhrusheva said. “Back in the day, it was super hard to progress unless you put in tons of hours of gameplay. It was much more of a hardcore game. In 2014, it’s much more accessible to the mass market.”

Perhaps the only thing missing from this equation is a cellphone app that lets players interact with their WoW garrisons remotely. So far no official Blizzard app for this exists, although Wowhead.com, an official fansite of the game, has released an app that keeps track of mission timers, so players know exactly when to return. 

View full post on ReadWrite

What High-Level Publishers Want From An Email Pitch by @wonderwall7

Are you wondering what the top sites like FastCompany, Slate, and Upworthy want from an email pitch? As someone who gets 5-20 pitches per week for Search Engine Journal, I certainly understand the scrutiny top publishers place on email pitches. The below infographic from BuzzStream and Fractl highlights some of the best tips when you are pitching major online publishers, including: Most want to see data from your content in the subject line More than half say they’ve blacklisted at least one person due to a bad email pitch this month alone More than 85% want raw data in a pitch

The post What High-Level Publishers Want From An Email Pitch by @wonderwall7 appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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11 Expectations To Have From A Great SEO Proposal – Business 2 Community

11 Expectations To Have From A Great SEO Proposal
Business 2 Community
This facts indicates, if your business is on the internet, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of doing business. SEO is the approach to optimizing a brand's web presence for organic search including the website, social channels

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This Month in Social Media: 10 Social Media Updates From November 2014 by @thebigdebowski

November was a big month for various social networks. Some interface changes were made; apps were launched; lawsuits were initiated; and partnerships culminated. Here are some of the major social media changes announced this month: Twitter There was a major change announced on the Twitter front: a plan to overhaul the experience. Twitter’s timeline of real-time updates may instead by replaced by an algorithmically-controlled timeline that’s more akin to Facebook’s News Feed. Learn more: Twitter Plans To Introduce A Timeline That Resembles Facebook’s News Feed In other Twitter news, the entire index of public tweets since 2006 is searchable. Twitter’s […]

The post This Month in Social Media: 10 Social Media Updates From November 2014 by @thebigdebowski appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Go from Zero to SEO Ninja Hero with These Tactics – iMedia Connection (blog)

Go from Zero to SEO Ninja Hero with These Tactics
iMedia Connection (blog)
On the surface, comparing modern search engine optimization, (SEO) to mercenaries in feudal Japan may seem like a stretch. However, look closer and similarities begin to emerge, one most noteworthy of all: like a ninja, the best SEO goes unnoticed.

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Happy Thanksgiving From the SEW Team

thanksgiving-feast

On behalf of the entire team at Search Engine Watch, we wanted to wish all of our readers a happy Thanksgiving.

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SEO vs. PPC: Three big ideas from Digital Cream Singapore – Econsultancy (blog)

SEO vs. PPC: Three big ideas from Digital Cream Singapore
Econsultancy (blog)
Econsultancy held its regular Digital Cream Singapore earlier this month and it was packed with digital marketing specialists from South-East Asia. Around 100 delegates, mostly from brands and other buy-side firms, got together to discuss the future of

View full post on SEO – Google News

Doing It Dave’s Way: 6 #Marketing Lessons From The Founder of Wendy’s #SEJBookClub by @dantosz

For the November edition of #SEJBookClub, we read “Dave’s Way”, written by Wendy’s founder and spokesperson Dave Thomas. The book was originally published in 1991 and chronicles Dave’s life through his childhood, military service, and all the way through building his very successful company. Although Dave passed away in 2002, his legacy is still going strong. Here are a few statistics about Wendy’s you might not have known:  In the first seven years, over 500 Wendy’s restaurants were opened! In 1999, Wendy’s was the third largest hamburger chain, but by 2012, Wendy’s squeezed Burger King out and took second place. As of November 2014, the company was valued […]

The post Doing It Dave’s Way: 6 #Marketing Lessons From The Founder of Wendy’s #SEJBookClub by @dantosz appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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